Dobry den from the beautiful city of Prague!
It is a great pleasure to be able to go out of your town and get away from everything and everyone loves you and bothers you again... This time, i went to Prague for 6 days and hopefully, i could visit most of the places i wanted to. Besides, i learned more stuff about the Prague life. Enjoy reading.
Why am i travelling to somewhere i have been to recently although i barely do that?
The reason is that, -besides the Istanbul life being unnecessarily stressful- i had to face 4 problems and they all came to me at the same time. It was in the middle of February and i had decided to postpone them continuously till the summer in order to focus on my obligations and my comrades, my hobbies etc. , i needed to find myself again and i needed this so much. I will talk about it later on.
In the beginning of May, i had 5 cities in mind; Lisbon, Paris, Prague, Berlin and Venice. I wanted to go to Lisbon in the beginning of April but i had the longest sickness period of my life and i had to cancel both flight and Airbnb reservations. I wanted to try again but i felt like it was not the right time for me to go there. Besides, flight tickets to Lisbon definitely hit the ceiling while you can go to Paris for the half price. My friend in Paris would not be available and one night, my mum could not sleep and kindly asked me to tell one of my trips. In fact, she picked Prague off the beaten track. I told her and while i was doing that, i realized how i actually loved this city. Therefore, the flight ticket and Airbnb were reserved just in a couple of minutes.
One of my friends from school, who has already traveled to Prague with her boyfriend in February recommended me to find a place nearby Namesti Miru. So, i took her advice and on my arrival day, it turned out that my apartment was located just 50m away (5 minutes away to Krymska stop) from my friend who lives in Prague when i saw the name of her street. Glad that i chose here because Krymska has this whereas Lipanska does not:
Took off the plane, headed to the custom where the officers were snail-paced. The officer took my passport and checked both faces while giggling and saying: "No... It does not look like you. You are handsomer" (i'm already aware of that it is grammatically wrong). I was smiling back to her but actually, i was glad to be able to get out of this sultry airport. Then, headed to exchange office and had to translate the officer to a Turkish lady who cannot even understand: "I can't convert 50 euros directly. You should give more." and respond.
Anyway, all i did till the sunset was heading to my apartment, having a shower and do some shopping. But i found out something you should keep in mind: you should simplify the words you use and speak with an American accent so that the Czech sales(wo)men can understand what you are saying. For example, when i headed to the apartment, my host wanted to tell me how the electric stove works. That's simple; you should tag the plug or plug it in, turn it up and when you are done, you should pull the plug or plug it out. But instead, i watched a demonstration with: "You should do this. Then do this. Then do this.".
During the sunset, took some Americano from Starbucks and enjoyed the church's beauty in Namesti Miru by smoking Captain Black with cherry and Gauloises.
After a couple of hours, i went to a random bar close to the tram stop, took a pint and went out for a smoke. Surprisingly, there were 3 people on the right talking about Turkey. I involved to the conversation out of nowhere and found out that one of them (he is from Spain) had recently gone to south west of Turkey for his Erasmus + internship and he loved there so much. He imitated the way the salesmen (whom i dislike because i believe that they damage the country's image) speak down there. Also, he and some others demonstrated their Turkish skills:
And even, he showed Pamukkale travertines to the others and brought them in! As a Turk, i was super flattered but i felt a little bit guilty because i have never been there before... Anyway, i hope next time, you like Istanbul too Tomas! :) Later that night, i met with an American, a Slovakian lady whom he was flirting with, Tomas' other friends from Slovakia and Romania... I heard: "Eyvallah birader" from them... (Actually, it is a vulgar way to say: "Thanks bro")
Aaand, last but not least:
Woke up around 6:30 AM due to my wake up call service. In general, five star hotels have a reception desk to do it. But Prague is cute and modest, they let the pigeons do for free. After taking a shower and having my breakfast, i went for a morning coffee to La Bohème...
Ça voulait dire... While i was enjoying my coffee in the place which i visited on a Friday morning again, all i thought about was making the places i had never been to, my priority. And, finding a solution these 3-4 interdependent problems as soon as possible. But now, our topic is Prague. I could go to Havlickovy Sady (or Grebovka) afterwards as it was the closest one. But i was clever and i took a look at the weather forecast. It would be raining for 3 hours. Besides, i needed some cash and i had to go 3 tram stops the closest exchange office with an acceptable currency ratio.
So, i went to the Old Town Square.
In November, the square was so empty that i thought the ones there, were the whole 2% of the unemployed in the whole Czech Republic. And this time, i witness a touristic catastrophe. Yelling people, bermudas, colorful t-shirts, bum bags, the ones who wear lame clothes and carry a professional cam which they don't even know how to use... The right thing to do as a Prague admirer was simple: find a bench, light up a cigarette and play violin while the city burns.
Meanwhile, i saw some people on top of the Astronomical Clock Tower and decided to go for it right after i finish my cigarette. Besides, the rain was about to start. So, even if it was not my tension, i had to find some place to hide! haha
If you follow some pages on Instagram about the photos with top quality which are taken in a certain city or a country, you wonder the point where they are taken. So did i and i was glad that i could find one of them no matter how small the balcony was or how tight the window bars were. For entry, you get into the tourist office, take the lift up to the 3rd floor and stand on the line. Here are the entrance fees:
- Adults 250 CZK
- Reduced 150 CZK
- Family 500 CZK
- mTicket 210 CZK
Originally, it is named as Old Town Hall with Astronomical Clock and usually people enter the hall and then, go up. But i did vice versa. You can either choose to go up by the spiral road or take the lift with fancy lights below. I may recommend you going for the road. The lift is too tight and slow.
I took so many pictures when i was on top. Eventually, my phone died up there. That is why i could not take any pictures when i was in the hall. Unfortunately, the eastern wing of the hall was destroyed during the Czech rebellion in 1945. So, what you will run into is a relatively small but enough picturesque piece of it.
Normally, i was planning to go to Prague Castle but i had to get back home to charge it. After spending almost 3 hours at home, the sun was shining again, my phone's battery was shining again and i was shining again.
It was around 5:30 PM and late to go to the castle as it would be open until 7 PM. Besides, Prague looks small on the map but actually, it is not flat like the Western Europe so, going out makes you tired even if you go to the grocery.
This is where i found myself in a couple of minutes: Havlickovy Sady (Grebovka):
It is a medium sized, small park located between Prague 10 and Prague 4 where you can run, have a picnic, grab some beer and smoke or visit the garden café down there. It is closer to the tram stop between Krymska and Namesti Miru but i recommend Krymska because the way is less exhausting. It is a place where a small café and a playground with happy children welcome you in the entrance, a pavilion in the middle and behind it, a magnificent view with a wine yard, rest of the park, basketball fields and colourful buildings in the background reminding you the ones you used to draw when you were in kindergarten.
If you get in through the gate where Kozacka and Rybalkova streets cross, just go straight for a while and go right. There, you will find picturesque paths, water cascades, small lakes and statues which are inspired by the Italian Renaissance.
After staying there a couple of hours in search of internal peace and relaxation, it was time to drink and dance. And the first place in mind was a night club called Duplex. Went back to Namesti Miru and took the green line (metro A) towards Mustek. However, the thing i saw was not something to give me goosebumps... The club was going to be close from the 1st June until the 5th. In other words, during my entire holiday (Lay down - Try Not To Cry - Cry A Lot haha). So, i decided to search for another.
While i was searching the other bar my friend already recommended, a bar with comic book theme drew my attention. Because the idea was so lame but the bar was crowded than the others and people obviously were not lame... I just got in and i found out that there was an event of the Pub Crawl in Prague where they were giving free shots away.
Around 30 minutes later, while i was smoking a cigarillo and drinking my Vodka-RedBull, an American girl was chit chatting with a guy from the crawl. The girl asked where he was from but i could not hear the guy. Then, the girl started to ask some questions being the region close to the Muslim countries etc. And i approached him by asking: "Excuse me. Are you from Turkey?". "Oh yeah man! Come here!" he said and i joined the conversation. After the girl left, we started to talk and i found out that he has been living in Prague for 9 months. Also, he knows everything about the city. During my trip, he helped me a lot.
Then, i thought that these guys know the nightlife in Prague much better than me for sure and i decided to join them. So, later that night, we went here:
Karlovy Lazne is probably the most well known night club in Prague among the locals and the tourists. It is a night club with 5 floors where you can find a robotic arm DJ on the 2nd floor, a lame floodlit dance floor on the 3rd floor, the atmosphere of the 2nd floor but with a real DJ and a stripper on the 4th floor and nothing on the last floor!
But the thing is, it is so cheezy and not hygenic at all.
We already had an agreement to have a breakfast with my Polish friend whom it visited last time. I was expecting her to get ready around 7-9 AM but she could get ready at 12 so, due to our so-called brunch, i could visit only 2 places. That day, I was planning to go to Prague Castle and Letna Park for the sunset. But, because of her adorable <3 (!) punctuality, i had to cancel Prague Castle again. So, i asked for an advice and she recommended me Valdstejnska Zahrada. I went there but that was honestly the worst advice i have ever taken.
The thing is, i got out of the club at 03:30. I wanted to call a Uber but there was a malfunction and i was super drunk to fix it. So, i had to walk the 2,4 km way back home for an hour. Even the sun was rising when i headed to Namesti Miru. I slept only 2 hours just to keep my breakfast promise which actually started at 12:00... I was bored and i was resentful because of the garden. Simply, i was having a terrible day and i was so tired that i was not able to be reasonable. And, all i was thinking was: "I need food. I need to watch the sunset. I have to get back home and aalll of them is hap-pe-ning to-night!" So, i had to skip Letna Park again and went to Riegrovy Sady:
I was lucky that it was close to my home (in fact, it turned out to be nearby the café we went in the noon). While i was studying for my exams before my holiday, i used to check out some places in Prague on Instagram like: "Absolutely go." or "It's not worth it." during the breaks. I ran into here and i noted without thinking. Do you know why? Because it was offering a small and smooth hill where people have a picnic and watch a lovely sunset. I grabbed 2 beers and did the same! :) Also, i called a friend who lives in Toronto and whom i missed a lot. Besides, i could fix my Uber at last!
As a matter of fact, i am a little glad that i did not go to Letna instead of Riegrovy Sady because i still cannot be sure if i would be hit by another tourist strike down there whereas i could find some peace here.
The clock was emphasizing me that it was 9 PM. "I need some food" my stomach said. Me? "Let's take some kebab and gyros and compare them." I responded. Luckily, i had both in my district. One bite of the kebab and another bite of gyros... All of a sudden, my brain stopped working. And whispered: "There is no difference except the meat.". "How is that possible?" i asked curiously. But wise the brain was: "Oh daarrrling, kebab contains beef. Whereas gyros contains ham. That's it...". It ended up with a loud high five...
Until then, i had already drunken 5 beers but -even though i had not drunk alcohol for around 1,5 months to lose weight- i was still sober and i needed to dance to eject that toxic frustration. Therefore, i decided to push my limits and then, dance. About pushing my limits, i went to a bar i was willing to give a shot.
I loved everything about this place and honestly, if i lived and worked in Prague and if a beloved friend of me came to visit me, i would definitely invite him here. Yet, i was not out of my budget:
5 beers + Martini + tequila + Vodka & Redbull + Jagermeister + Olmeca...
And when i drank Olmeca, it felt so hot that i took myself out and lighted a cigarette. I started to relieve but there was yet no tension to throw up. But there was another... Tension to dance and get rid of your stress. As you know, Duplex would be close until my return (and i am still crying about that) and i went to its substitute again.
Next morning, all i remember was that i drank 2 Desperados over the others, this story:
Plus, a female whose service was not needed anymore. It took me a while to kick her out tough... It was the time when i decided to end my nightlife in Prague.
- In Nice, i could meet with a girl around 11 PM - 12 AM and grab her around 1-2 AM. But the nightlife in Prague starts while i am taking the girl to my place in Nice.
- There is always a guy in bars and nightclubs who is lame, extremely self-confident and tries to dance with every female in the place, even with the female cockroach he sees in the toilet. Last but not least, he always carries the same bottle of beer for 6 hours. And i have had enough of seeing that guy.
- New addition to my stay away list: Stay away from Bachelor's Party girls. Reason: "She's my cousin and she gets married at 26 but i am almost 30 and idk when i will find the one...".
I got prepared and went out around 11 AM, had a breakfast and morning coffee. Then, i decided to improvise the day as i was so tired.
When i got to Namesti Miru, 2 attracting things drove my attention. First, the church's gates were open whereas they are usually closed. So, i checked it out and they were holding their Sunday ceremony. Second, there was a Jewish festival in the square. In 10 minutes i spent there, i planned the next two things i was going to do: visiting Tyn Church (The Church of Our Lady Before Tyn) and enjoying Trdelnik with ice cream. My brain was warning me all the time: "Don't walk too much! Your feet are blistered and get back home asap!"
Unfortunately, i missed the open hours by around 30 minutes or 1 hour. So, the next stop was going to be Good Food. In fact, i found here by chance while i was surfing on Instagram because people usually post their Trdelnik with ice cream on Instagram/Facebook as if it is so common.
The route to Good Food had also taken me to another touristic spot in Prague. It was the bridge which i crossed in November with my friend from Nice at first and the day after, with my Polish friend. This time, Charles Bridge was going to offer her beauty in a different way...
In Turkish, various sarcastic sayings can be found. And for 3 days, the beautiful city of Prague seemed to me like she had been trying to prove me one of them:
"A guest does not want the other guest but the host does not want them both."
The thing what i am trying to say can be understood when the bridge is hardly noticed on the picture. I already mentioned the history of the Charles Bridge in my last article about Prague, so i will add only one thing and move on:
Do not forget to pat the dog for some good luck.
After i crossed the bridge, i wanted to go all the way up to the roof of the Panoramic Tower. The way up is steep and the stairs are made of wooden. It offers you the best view of Charles Bridge which is as magnificent as the views of the Astronomical Clock Tower and Petrin Tower. Besides, the entry is just 20 CZK (80 cents) and there were only 3 people including me no matter how crowded the bridge is all the time. It's totally worth it. Next, i took a walk until Malostranske Namesti tram stop and turned back to the end of the bridge.
So far, you have read the bad part of my holiday. But now, the things start to change. How come?
If you clicked the link above, probably you noticed a bunch of trees with faded leaves, with a footnote: "If fall in Prague is this lovely, i cannot imagine the spring". However, in the beginning of June, what i witnessed (what happened) was this:
I already told the Lennon Wall and the only difference between November and today was lying on grass in Kampa Island for 2 hours. So, i will just put this slideshow here and skip the rest of the day.
After accepting that my main problem has already happened, it is the past now and i have to look beyond; i was finally ready for a fresh day start. I wanted to reward myself for it and went to Paul by tram to take some croissants, chocolat au pains and various little cakes away. The dog was still chasing me and it seemed like it will be chasing me for a while...
That morning, i descended to metro A as usual. I would take off in Staromestska (Old Town Square) stop but i missed it and took off at Malostranska (Prague Castle, Letna Park and Valdstejnska Zahrada) stop. At last, i surprisingly had a date for the night...
Okay, enough of my private life. I went back to the Old Town Square to get some Czech crowns and then, i started to wait the beginning of the Free Walking Tour until 12.
By joining Free Walking Tour,
- You can get informed about the history of Tyn Church, National Gallery & Old Town Hall.
- You can hop on and hop off the unceasing lift of the New Town Hall.
- The importance of Jan Hus, Jan Zizka and Charles IV in the Czech history.
- The religious conflicts and the defenestration culture during the dark ages.
- Superstitions towards the Swedish.
- The triangle of Rolling Stones, Vaclav Havel and Prague Castle.
- When the WW2 started according to the Czech and WW2 history of Prague.
- Josefov District.
In addition to Josefov district, it is the Jewish district of Prague where you can spot a big clock in Hebrew, a Jewish graveyard looking like a block of flats (because their areas were restricted and it is the solution they could find to bury their death) and an ancient synagogue. Also, when you enter there, you will not be able to neglect the existence of creme de la creme vehicles and stores everywhere. Moreover, it offers you the half of the finest bars and restaurants in Prague.
The tour was finished and i needed 2 things: new clothes and a nice place. After I kindly asked my tour guide (and that guy was a-ma-zing.) to recommend a nice place for a date, i hit the road to Palladium for new clothes.
Café Louvre is probably the most ancient one of its kind which started his business life in 1902. That epoch, it was the regular meeting point of many well-known people such as Franz Kafka, Albert Einstein when he was doing his professorship in Prague, and Karel Capek. Excluding the dead period of 1948-1992, it is still keeping the spirit of its era ever since.
I should thank the tour guide. We spent a lovely one and a half hour up there. Everything was delicious but whatever you eat for the main course, never leave without eating an Apfelstrudel for desert.
After leaving there, we strolled along Vltava up to Dancing Houses. Unfortunately, due to her early Cesky Krumlov trip next morning, she could not stay any longer and had to leave. Then, i sat by the river and gave a serene smile for keeping everything on track again.
On the 6th day, my legs were killing me so much that i could even barely go to the grocery. I took the day off and a perfect rest until 5 PM. At 5, i went to Bageterie Boulevard and took a "Brussels". Then, i went to that grocery store that sells wine as a substitute for happiness and grabbed 2 beers, potato chips and some chocolate. And enjoyed my last day in Prague in Grebovka.
Last night, my Polish friend had wanted to meet me either later that night or the next day for dinner when i was about to go to my meeting. I said i would think about the dinner. In the noon, i texted her and accepted her dinner invitation for 7-8 PM because after meeting with her, i could prepare my bag and meet with the Turkish friend i met there. However, she forgot that other people also have a life and i knew that she would be irresponsibly late again. So, i had to cancel the second meeting in my mind (i explained him the situation next day) to have a serious conversation of which the necessity was not negligible anymore with her. She came to my place and said that she had just 20 minutes even though i was promised for a dinner. Hearing that was annoying but, she had given me the home advantage (and i am super glad about it) and 20 minutes were enough for me.
After the conversation, i was starving and i had a great desire to dance. Next stop was James Dean Café & Bar. It was again recommended by my tour guide the day before for their cocktails and handmade burgers. I could not find a better place to have my promised dinner! :) Frankly, i still cannot decide whether it is my luck or bad luck that i found my Wayne's Bar in Prague on my last night... Because i spent many hours there and the only two differences were the live music at Wayne's and the more beautiful decoration in here. I bumped into "that lame guy" again but they gave me a sweet lighter when i bought a packet of cigarettes.
And next and the last day, i saw you know who for 5 minutes, gave the keys back, had a breakfast in the French style, took some Americano from a portable coffee shop on Namesti Miru and the cute barista taught me some Czech and i taught her some Turkish and French in exchange, thanked Namesti Miru for being my home for 6 days, headed to the meeting i had already arranged with "the date" in Globe Bookstore & Café to say her goodbye and to turn that place to my "last day in Prague" tradition. Again, it was hard to leave and again, i was about to miss the flight.
As you read, most of the things happened to me either came all of a sudden or were not something i was not expecting at all. I have had a less pleasing holiday than i expected. Some unexpected people made me sad whereas some unexpected people or things really cheered me up... That is why it is hard to evaluate my holiday. But in the end, i certainly got what i wanted and i am glad about it.
No matter how long is your trip, please spend half of a day in Petrin Hill and the other half in Prague Castle. Take a walk in Letna Park. Party like there is no tomorrow in Duplex. I liked and enjoyed every place i visited except the garden you know who recommended me and i am not so sure about Karlovy Lazne... But as a person who went to Prague two times and stayed there 10 days in total, i can strongly recommend Petrin Tower, Astronomical Clock Tower, Café Louvre, James Dean and Riegrovy Sady. People were also recommending me another place called Hany Bany but i have never been there. Check it out and share your thoughts with me!